God protects his people
The land of Israel
O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
Birth of a Nation
In 63 B.C. the Roman armies invaded the land of Israel and made it part of the Roman Empire. Then Jesus came, and in response to the Jews’ rejection of him as their Messiah, he predicted that the Jewish temple would be completely destroyed (Luke 21:6), a prediction fulfilled in A.D. 70. After a second revolt in A.D. 135, no Jews lived in Jerusalem, and they became scattered through the world.
Then in the late 1800s, in response to anti-Semitism, particularly in eastern Europe, a Jewish movement called Zionism arose. In 1917 in an attempt to win Jewish support for World War I, England issued the Balfour Declaration, supporting the creation “in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Following War World II, Britain turned the matter of a Jewish state to the newly created U.N., which voted on November 29, 1947 to endorse a plan to create separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone.
The British Mandate was scheduled to end on May 15, 1948, at which time their troops would begin leaving. The day before, a historic meeting was held in Tel Aviv. At exactly 4:00 p.m. the meeting was called to order by David Ben-Gurion. The audience rose and sang “Hatikvah,” the Jewish national anthem. Then Ben-Gurion read in Hebrew Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Everyone in the audience stood to their feet and applauded, many with tears streaming down their faces. For the first time in two thousand years there was an independent Jewish state of Israel.
The very existence of present-day Israel is a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises. (Ezekiel 37:1-13)
Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for May 15.
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House